Apple Introduces $999 iMac for Education

by Reads (2,020)

If you’re heading back to school this fall – or going for the first time – chances are you’re looking to buy a new computer. Apple is looking to shake some of its “Apple premium tax” status with the introduction of a 21.5-inch iMac that comes in at just $999 – a savings of $200 over the typical base iMac model. With its education status, it’s likely going to be for institutions only, but who knows…Apple has surprised us before.

$999 Apple iMac

Specifications:

  • Display: 21.5 inches
  • Resolution 1920×1080
  • Screen: LED-backlit IPS display “with support for millions of colors”
  • Processor: Dual-core Intel Core i3 @ 3.1 GHz (3MB of L3 cache)
  • Memory: 2GB DDR3 SDRAM @ 1333 MHz (expandable up to 8GB at the Apple Online Store)
  • Hard drive: 250GB HDD @ 7200 RPM
  • Optical drive: Slot-loading 8x DVD+/-RW SuperDrive 
  • Networking: Gigabit Ethernet
  • Wireless networking: 802.11n Wi-Fi
  • Graphics: AMD Radeon HD 6750M with 256MB GDDR5
  • Sound: Built-in 20W stereo speakers, microphone
  • Built-in FaceTime HD camera, mini-DisplayPort (not Thunderbolt), FireWire 800, 4 x USB 2.0, SDXC card slot
  • Wired Apple Keyboard (with numeric keypad), Wired Apple Mouse

Apple made the new iMac public via a Knowledge Base update, and with little fanfare. At $999, the new education iMac becomes one of three more affordable Apple computers you can buy, and the most affordable Mac with an optical drive by a significant margin. The Mac Mini at $599 and the MacBook Air at $999 both lack the spinning medium.

In order to shave that $200 off the next level of iMacs, Apple made a couple of cuts, but for educational use – or even, if you can get your hands on one, as a perfect replacement for parents and the like. The $1199 model includes a quad-core Core i5, and this has a dual-core Core i3; the other offers 4GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive, while this has 2GB and 250GB; the higher model offers a Thunderbolt port, while this one has just DisplayPort.

Still, it’s not a terrible bargain for schools looking to get into offering Apple computers, or for some cash-strapped design departments that would like to offer courses in Final Cut Pro. It’s unfortunate that Apple is making the sub-$1,000 computers available only to the education market, but at least some schools who want or need to acquire Apple hardware, will be able to do so at a cheaper rate.

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